PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior forward Kennedy Nicholas scored 28 points and Sacramento State trailed for just two minutes on Thursday night, defeating Portland State on the road, 73-70.
With the win, the Hornets have won two straight and are now 5-12 overall and 3-5 in the Big Sky. Portland State drops to 11-8 overall and 5-4 in league.
On Tuesday, senior forward Kennedy Nicholas was named the Big Sky's Player of the Week and she showed why again on Thursday, scoring a game-high 28 points on 12-of-25 shooting. She was the only Hornet to attempt double-digit shots and led all players with 12 made field goals.
In addition, Nicholas led the Hornets with nine rebounds, five steals, and two blocks. The five steals are a career-best for the senior.
Over her last five games, Nicholas is averaging 21.6 points, 12.6 rebounds, 3.6 blocks, and 2.6 steals.
Coming off a career-best 24 points last Saturday, sophomore guard Tiana Johnson put together another strong game on Thursday, scoring 12 points and collecting seven rebounds in the 73-70 win.
Five of Johnson's points came late and were crucial for the Hornets. With the game tied, 59-59, midway through the fourth, Johnson drained a three to give Sacramento State the lead. That proved to be the beginning of the end for Portland State, as the Hornets led for the final five and a half minutes.
It was also Johnson at the line with just 19 seconds remaining. The Kalispell, Montana native made both free throws to extend the Hornets' lead to three, 73-70. For the season, Johnson is shooting 88.6% from the stripe, best on the team and second best in the Big Sky.
Thursday's game ended much closer than it appeared at times, especially early in the second half when Sacramento State took a 10-point lead, its largest of the night.
Portland State refused to quit, however, clawing its way back into the game, even taking the lead, 52-51, late in the third quarter. Sacramento State had every answer on Thursday, though, responding with a 6-0 run to reclaim the lead. They would never trail again.
Sacramento State has now won back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Hornets have won three of their last four and two straight on the road.
It'll be another home contest up next for Sacramento State as the team returns to the Nest for a Monday night matchup with Northern Arizona. The Hornets and Lumberjacks played a thriller in their first game this season, a 114-107 NAU win in double-overtime.
Tip off on Monday is set for 7:05 p.m. PT and tickets are still available. For details on how to purchase tickets, and for more information on Sacramento State women's basketball, please visit the Sacramento State women's basketball homepage online at HornetSports.com.